The Romanian Ministry of National defence (MoD) sent a formal request to the Romanian Parliament to approve the procurement of 32 former Luftforsvaret (RNoAF, Royal Norwegian Air Force) F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcons for use with the Fortele Aeriene ale Romanei (FAR, Romanian Air Force). The Norwegian fighters will be available soon as all remaining aircraft wil be withdrawn from use by the end of December 2021.
The estimated costs for this deal is calculated at € 454 million (ex VAT), of which € 354 million is for the aircraft and € 100 million for logistical support and specific equipment needed for aircraft upgrades which will be supplied by the US government. These upgrades, including engine repairs and maintenance, will de done at Aerostar Bacau.
The formal request of the Romanian MoD stated: "In order to continue the gradual supply of F-16 aircraft from the surplus of the Armed Forces of NATO members, letters of inquiry (RFI) were sent in 2019 to the governments of NATO member states equipped with F-16 aircraft (Belgium, Denmark, The Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Greece) on the availability to transfer 16 till 32 F-16 aircraft. The only solution currently identified as a result of the analysis of the responses received to the requests for information is the purchase by the Government of Norway of a package consisting of 32 F-16 aircraft in M6.5.2 configuration (superior to the configuration of the seventeen aircraft equipped), logistics support equipment and training services."
The Romanian Air Force currently operates seventeen former Portuguese Air Force F-16AM/BMs with Escadrila 53 Vanatoare Warhawks / Baza 86 Aeriană at Borcea/Fetesti.
Photo by Peder Mathisen